"There's a tremendous gap between reality and the perceived reality, just in terms of population numbers. So how many people are really aware of the problems of Indians in the Mojave desert? The answer is very few," he said. "That's why I'm working in the museum, in education and in the media."
Apodaca is making his presence felt in education as one of the editors of elementary school textbooks on American history, which he said are "getting better" but still have room for improvement in their depictions of American Indians.
"I'd like to rewrite the state textbooks," he said, "but at least editing them I can expunge some prejudicial information."
A sand painter and musician trained in numerous other art forms through apprenticeships with master Indian artists, Apodaca is helping Bowers chief curator Armand Labbe prepare a fall exhibit of South American ceramics predating the arrival of Columbus. He is also collecting traditional music of Southern California Indian tribes, which he said has never been catalogued, for an exhibit titled "Bird Songs of California" scheduled for 1987.
Apodaca's only complaint about the numerous activities and positions he's assumed is that he doesn't have as much time to devote to his own artistic endeavors.
"It does take time away," he said. "But if my ability to interpret the art form helps further the art form, I don't mind."